Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Craftiness!

I had so much fan making the pillows in the previous post for Jo and her hubs that I've been in super crafty mode! I've been contemplating creating an Etsy page and selling my stuff, and I still haven't decided on that one yet...

Etsy is a huge step and requires either a large stockpile or a super speedy creation process - that is IF you get any orders. I've come to realize that the site is basically overstocked with a lot of the same stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy and will continue to check it out, but I'm worried that it would be rather hard to break into that arena. Possibly the equivalent of selling Mary Kay in a small town where 30 people already sell it kind of thing. Soooo, in light of my realizing this, I'm making baby steps and taking aim and buyers through this here blog, facebook, twitter, and good 'ol fashioned word of mouth from those people I like to call friends.

Hopefully you've already seen the pillow in the previous post, if not, UH scroll down and check'er out!

Sticking with the crafty theme, I need to add some pics from a baby gift I made and sold to a friend back in July. If you'll recall, way back in April I made this mobile for my friend Amy and her lovely baby Everleigh.

Doesn't Miss Caitlyn make an excellent Vanna White?

This is the mobile (along with a couple outfits) all packaged up, ready for the shower! I just loved the super cute basket that Candy let me use to wrap it all up in :)

Along these same lines, Amanda wanted a mobile for her gift at a shower in July so I made another one. She also brought me some baby fabric she picked out and made a couple burp cloths with the material. I made this mobile a bit different. I used the same size butterflies (as opposed to varying sizes like the previous pics) and also added some "crystal jewels" at the bottom of each strand for extra weight since the butterflies were smaller. I really like how this one turned out too!

These was taken at about 9pm, so the lighting in the house was pretty terrible. The only shots I could get to make the butterflies pop were in front of the ugly beautiful brown door here.

I was trying to show the little sparkling jewels in this one. Eh, maybe it kind of sorta worked haha!

Since the mobiles are rather hard to transport, I worked gift wrapping into the price and had it all packaged up for Amanda the night before the shower.

Here's everything all ready to go. The shower color was pink, so since I hate adore the color pink that's what I wrapped the goodies up in!

Anyone that might be interested in ordering a mobile, burp cloth, or pillow feel free to contact me! There will be varying pillow options coming soon, so keep checking back for updated pics of the pillows you'll be able to buy.  I have numerous color available for mobiles and can do varying options other than butterflies. The pricing obviously varies depending on what you're looking for so just let me know what you would like and I can get a price to you. For those of you who do not live locally, I can ship items to you as well!

You can leave a comment with inquiries, email me at klg2525 AT yahoo DOT com, facebook me, send a tweet, call or text, send a smoke signal, a message in a bottle...

Basically what I'm getting at is feel free to contact me in any manor you are able to!

As I finish the projects I'm currently working on, I will post pics of those as well. Until then, spread the word - I'd love to get some of my stuff out there!

Hope you're having a great week. Happy Hump Day!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Project Reveal.

Remember when I told you about a project I was going to be working on and gave absolutely not details about it? Well, I finished it last weekend and delivered it last night, so I can now tell you about!

One of my oldest and dearest friends Jo, and her cooler than cool hubby, relocated to a much closer area - which is Ah-Mazing! I wanted to do something nice for them to commemorate the occasion and was having trouble deciding what to do. I didn't want to purchase any decorative accent pieces (ie wall hangings or vases etc) since the hubs is an artist and has decorated their space in a fairly rad manner. The obvious place to go from there would be a plant, eh BORING! Having visited several weeks ago and got a feel for the colors and decor I decided my best bet would be to make something. I settled on decorative pillows since I knew Jo had been looking for some. However, since I didn't want her to purchase any before I could complete the project and get it to her, I had to tell her I was making pillows. I know, I know it kind of ruined the surprise, but I didn't show her the fabric or anything so there was still somewhat of a shock value.

The first step was finding some super awesome material. I searched for several hours at numerous stores one day and ended up actually buying some upholstery fabric at Hobby Lobby of all places.

Before I share the photo let me just say, I seem to be relying a lot on my iphone camera rather than actually taking out my real camera.

Therefore, I apologize for the less than stellar quality/lighting/angles/overall goodness.

Here's the fabric, straight outta the shopping bag.

If you can't tell, it's black with a kind of tan-ish pattern. The pattern itself is actually flowers, but I love them because they look like starbursts :)

After talking to Jo and telling her my plan, she mentioned that she really needed pillows for her bedroom too. Since her bedding is dark, I decided to make the pillows larger than previously planned so she could use them in either the living room or bedroom.

First things first, I laid out the fabric and cut it into 4 matching panels (each measuring 21"x 21"). I then pinned the edges, right sides together. I reeeeeally need to purchase a serger - hopefully soon! But, since I don't have one yet, I did a double seem for extra strength (hence the 21", the pillow itself is 20"). I also backstitched on every corner to ensure major stability. I left about 3" open on one side of each pillow, this is where I will turn it right side out.

Here's what they looked like at this point. (They look brown because they're inside out!)

Before turning the material right side out, I pressed open the seems so the pillow would have better shape once stuffed. So, once they're pressed open, turn the fabric right side out by carefully pulling it through the 3" opening.

They should now look like this!

Now, comes the fun part. Stuffing. Fiberfill. Yay. Since these bad boys were rather large, I had to use 3 16 lbs bags of fiberfill on each pillow. It actually took me longer to stuff the pillows than it did to complete the entire previous section! It's not as bad as it sounds, just tedious. I planted myself on the coffee table and watched some baseball while stuffing and stuffing and stuffing.

Did I mention it took 3 bags for each pillow?

No? Ok, just checking.

Once they pillows are nice and plush with fiberfill, it's time to close up the 3" opening with a good 'ol needle and thread. I actually went over the opening twice to ensure stability, especially since I did a double hem on the rest of the edges.

Here's the finished product!

Again, I've become a horrible picture taker and forgot to get a shot of both pillows together.

I had a ton of fun making these for Jo and the Hubs and already decided on my next project! You'll have to wait and see for that one as well because I'm thinking of gifting it too ;)

Hope you've all had a great week and are planning a super awesome weekend! I'm heading to watch Candy's daughter cheer at a high school football game tonight. LOVE the Friday night lights - can't wait for some fall weather to go with it! :)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Sacrifice Saturday

Since I was late with last week's post, I decided to be uber punctual this weekend and post a day early.

On Wednesday, mom and I went down south in search of provisions for my new project. We stopped at several stores along the way, the second of which being Joann's Fabric. I had an AH-mazing coupon and was really hoping to find what I needed there, but alas, no such luck. I did however find a cute little family that was shopping for a ton of fabric and gave them the fantabulous coupon. So, even though I had not found any of the supplies I needed after 2 hours of searching, I felt good about sharing with those peeps. (More about the project to come after the weekend)

I've been doing the usual daily/weekly chores of recycling and whatnot and realized while at Walmart yesterday we need reusable bags. I have a large, canvas Fossil Eco bag which I take on shopping trips to the mall or just for quick errands at Kroger. However, I do not have a set of reusable grocery bags for actual grocery shopping. Mom was with me at Walmart too, and we had a discussion in the car about how we BOTH need reusable bags (although she's a little hesitant to commit to using them religiously). The big task at hand was finding ones we liked that were machine washable and not $20+ each. I remembered one of my fav ladies Sophia Bush did a blog post about eco friendly gift ideas around the holidays, so I searched her site and found the post. She listed two brands, one of which was super cute and definitely looked the part of an eco friendly grocery bag but was rather pricy. The second option was terrific as well and perfectly priced! 

Let me introduce you to BAGGU. These guys are amazing! They're made of ripstop nylon so they are not going to stretch out/tear and after you send them through the washing machine they will dry extremely fast hanging on the line. The bag itself comes in a teeny tiny little 5" by 5" pouch, so you don't have to lug around a bunch of empty bags before you start your shopping trip! The little pouches will fit nicely in your purse/handbag or even a pocket for small trips. The Baggu itself opens up to be 15" wide by 25" high by 6" deep. About 5 Baggus can pack up an entire cart filled with groceries! The best part is, they can each hold up to FIFTY POUNDS! Now, I don't know what kind of groceries you're buying, but I know I would not need that much weight in each bag. But it would most definitely be useful for many other things, the possibilities are endless. They come in a variety of colors and have several patterns as well if you want to be a little different (I love the polka dot and stripped patterns). As I mentioned earlier, they are perfectly priced. One regular Baggu is $8, however to encourage everyone to use the bags more often, the price goes down as the order increases. If you order 6 or more Baggus, they're only $6.50 each! The company also has a great shipping option - standard flat rate shipping within the U.S. is only $5, and you will receive the Baggu within 5 business days. For those of us who know we want several bags, they offer the "X5" pack. The "X5" comes with 5 Baggus in a nice little drawstring pouch. I think this is a great way to always have reusable bags with you, just leave the pouch (and the 5 Baggus inside it) in your trunk, that way no matter what your plans are, you will always have reusable bags handy. 

Other than the regular Baggu, they also make several other sizes and models that very in price, color, and  pattern. I will definitely be getting one of the Baby Baggus, which is only $6, because it will make an excellent lunch sack. Baby Baggu would also work great for a last minute trip to the store for the 3 items you forgot to buy misplaced for tonight's supper.  What's even more great about Baggu is they really encourage local business, you can call their 800 number (or send an email) and they will be happy to tell you any stores in your area that sell Baggu so you can support local vendors. I called in yesterday and spoke with Joe (who answered right away, no "Press 3" business here!) who was extremely nice, and found out there's a store in Houston who carries them. I've sent my pal Melissa on a mission to check them out this weekend so I can decide if I want to order or just go visit the store. Baggu also offers a recycling program. Once your bag is "old" you can return it for recycling and they will give you a credit toward a new Baggu! 

And did I mention they are machine washable?! So, after you bring home all that meat you're going to grill up you can just throw that bad boy in the washer and not worry about germs.

Sophia is the one who introduced me to the Water Bobble, which I absolutely LOVE, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to dig Baggu as well. I will definitely keep you posted once I have one in my possession. But in the meantime, you should at least check out their website and hopefully get a couple Baggus of your own! 

Let me know what you think!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love Veggies!

There are a lot of people out there who will not eat their veggies, for reasons beyond me. Veggies are so yummy! There are so many ways to go about obtaining your daily requirments, I actually think it's fun! ;)
Since I've been on a huge vegetable kick lately, some might think I've tried the vegetarian angle again, I'm going to post the first ever food/recipe section on this here blog.

The pills I've been taking for my eye make me SUPER hungry, as in I imagine my hunger is exactly how a preggo woman feels just before meal time. In the hopes of not becoming a cow with these meds, I've been trying to eat extremely healthy the past few weeks. This entails cooking up a ton of veggies at the beginning of each week and using them for lunch/dinner throughout the rest of the week. This typically involves roasting some of my fav veggies in the oven, after tossing them with olive oil and select seasoning. I then eat them over steamed brown rice and sometimes add a dash of Salt Lick BBQ Sauce (if you haven't tried SL BBQ, you are most definitely missing out!).

Last night I had a hankering to try something different, here's what I did:

I took a good amount of broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and onion and cut it all into bite size (about 1" pieces) and placed them in a large mixing bowl. Then, take a bottle of olive oil (evoo, whichever) and do a couple of passes over the veggies, and then add your seasoning - I used only cracked pepper last night. Lay the veggies out on a jelly roll pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray and back at 425* for about 25 minutes, stirring them halfway through.

Next, I decided on a whim to make homemade salsa for a topping. After rummaging through the cabinets I decided there were some ingredients that could possibly make an OK salsa. I used a can of tomatoes that had green chilis in it, along with a can of Rotel. (Pour all juice from cans!) I added a small handfull of chopped onion, about a tablespoon of cilantro, and 3 garlic cloves. All this went into my trusty mini-prep mixer and was all blended together. I then added a little lime zest and lime juice and did a quick spin of the mixer again. I was pleansantly surprised that my little "made-up" salsa actually had some spice and was pretty darn tasty! Some of you know, I'm definitely not a chunky salsa kind of girl so if you are, this version is not for you.

The third and basically final step in the process was the black beans. Over the last few weeks I've been on a huge edimame kick, but wanted to try black beans this week - hence the salsa idea. I've never made black beans before and my favorite ones to eat are from Chipotle so I decided to go with a cilantro/lime black bean mix. I just used a can of black beans (I hear cooking the real thing takes forever). In order to add my extra flavor to the canned beans, I sauteed half a large onion in some EVOO with a little cracked pepper and then added the beans, 1 cup of cilantro, zest and juice from 1 lime. I brought the mixture to a good simmer and then turned the fire off and let it sit while the veggies finished roasting.

I use frozen brown rice that comes in microwavable bags, that way I can heat it up easily and then divide the leftovers into single serving containers for future use. Once everything is ready, just scoop the rice onto a plate, top with veggies, and then cover with salsa.

I know what you're thinking.

Salsa on broccoli, carrots, and asparagus?!

Trust me though, it's really good!

I have one picture, next time I'll try to take pics throughout the process, but it's not a super nice picture. In fact, it's rather bad and doesn't really do the meal any justice. Also, please excuse the paper plate and platsic fork - I was tired from working out and ready to eat my food so I just grabbed the first thing available ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Music Monday!

Late, again. You wouldn't know I'm a super punctual person by these last few posts...

Emily Browning - Sweet Dreams

Roger Waters ft. Van Morrison & The Band - Comfortably Numb

Adele - Rumor Has It

Fun New Project!

This is going to be super vague and probably annoying to many of you, but oh well, you'll just have to get over it! I have a new project I'm really excited about starting. I can't really go into any details as the recipient of this project is most likely reading this blog post. Soooo, one of my really awesome friends is going to be gifted said project in the near future and I'm totally stoked to get this show on the road! Tomorrow morning Dottie (my car) is heading to Discount Tire for some new shoes and then after work my mom and I are heading down south to gather the materials for this project. At the moment I'm really hoping for Option #1, as long as I can find the right stuff this shouldn't be a problem. If not, then Option #2 will come into play. Either way, I'm super excited and can't wait to start work! I'll post a sneak peak of the supplies later in the week and see if anyone can guess what I'm doing. Other than that, you'll have to wait until my buddy receives this project before any finished photos are posted.

So yeah, super vague and annoying. Don't you just hate when people give a tiny bit of information and then leave you hanging? :P

slacking this week...

I'm definitely lagging this week with posts, oops! Last week was a little busy. I spent Tuesday afternoon filling out and dropping off an application for a second job at my gym. I'm actually really excited about this idea and hoping I get a call soon! The gym was recently sold and the new owners are making some great changes that are going to really benefit the club. The first order of business which I'm really excited about is a cycling club. I CANNOT wait for the weather to cool off a bit so I can start riding again... When you can feel the heat rising off the pavement on your legs as you pedal, it's just too damn hot. I think this venture would be awesome since it would not only put some extra cash in the pocketbook, but it would also let me continue to do the things I greatly enjoy every afternoon/weekend.

Wednesday was a much needed hair day. I left work at 12:00 and hauled it down to The Woodlands for my 1:00 appointment with Raymond. I love him! He got me all colored up and trimmed with a little flare in the front (face framing). I had some delish Freebirds for lunch, at 3:00, and then headed back home. I spent Wednesday evening making cake balls. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating a cake ball, They. Are. Delish. One of the girls from work was having a birthday lunch Thursday so I made her fav flavor *chocolate* for the cake balls. I also spent late Wednesday night getting ready for an interview on Thursday. We shall see what comes of it!

Thursday was a crazy day at work, but Candy, Dana, and I had a fun lunch in the conference room with pizza, cake balls, and some serious chatting. All in all, I think it was a good birthday celebration for a work lunch! Friday was crazy with errands, and then Saturday I got to go visit two of my favorite people - Jolene and Daniel! I saw some projects they're working on (which are turning out fabulous!) and can't wait to see the finished products. We had a yummy lunch at Chipotle (LOVE!) and then headed to Daniel's parent's house for some pool, relaxing, friends, and food. Jo's parents came down for a while as did my seester and her hubby, Joeann, and couple of Daniel's friends- it was great fun! Daniel cooked up some meat and we just enjoyed the nice (although a little warm) evening. Can't wait to do it again, and more often especially in the fall.

So, I'm sure you're wondering why I am chronicling my week... well, this week's Sacrifice Saturday post is a little lacking because of the busy week/weekend. I know that's not really an excuse, but there ya go. I have been doing my usual recycling and trying to cut back on energy (lights, AC, etc.) but there are no big "I did ____ this week"posts. Sorry! I did finally get to sit down and catch up with Heather and in the midst of gossiping, chatting, and playing with Miss Ellie we did talk about Thanksgiving Meal Deliveries. I'm very happy to report that the church is doing this again and I am most definitely going to assist! She also mentioned a few other things her mama is doing with the church and I am going to try and help out in some way. Obviously Sacrifice Saturday, just like any form of philanthropy, is a constantly evolving scenario and needs constant attention. Hopefully this week brings some new opportunities!

Monday, August 8, 2011

my week in collage

Oldies and Newbies.

The last hour has been filled with a very random collection of music streaming from my laptop as I perused a few of my fav blogs. In case you haven't noticed from last week's Music Monday, I am loving Adele. Here are a couple of the tunes I've been singing along with today:

Adele - To Make You Feel My Love

Florence + The Machine - Cosmic Love

Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man

The Monkees - Daydream Believer

What have your speakers been blasting lately?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Feed A Child

In case you don't know, I love Twitter. It's like Facebook, but without all the unnecessary stuff. Twitter is also a great medium to get the word out about anything. I follow a few of my fav celebs who use their Twitter power for good (#1 Sophia Bush and #2 Ian Somerhalder). Those of you that use Twitter and actually care about things, should definitely consider following these cool kids. Yesterday Miss Sophia Bush tweeted about the famine going on in the Horn of Africa and added a link to a great way to help the World Food Programme. It's an excellent way for the average person to make a small contribution. Here's how it works, you take a quiz. That's. It. Literally, it takes less than one minute, and I actually did it from my phone! CLICK HERE to take the quiz and feed a child. The quiz is only 5 questions and all they ask at the end is your name and email. The WFP doesn't share you info, they simply send a "thank you" email with a link to share with everyone else. They have also added a nifty link to Twitter and Facebook in the email as well, so if you would like to share the quiz information via one of those routes you can. I hope you all take one minute of your time to participate and help feed some kids in desperate need, and then take one extra minute to pass the link on to any and all people you know.

As for this week's Sacrifice Saturday post, I've been doing some major research all week! I knew it was going to be hard to find things worth while, that also fit into my areas of interest, in this little town, but I had no idea it would be THIS HARD. I do have several plans in the works for future tasks, and am currently working on getting some help from friends or anyone else that would be interested. I will hopefully have more information in the next few weeks. A couple years ago, I helped a friend and a few of her family/church members deliver boxed meals the weekend before Thanksgiving (basically a kit to make dinner for their family). I thought it was great! The recipients of the boxes were so appreciative and it felt amazing giving someone the ability to make a Thanksgiving meal who would not have been otherwise able to do so. I'm not sure if Heather and/or the church will be doing it again this year. I definitely want to! So, I have to get with her and see what the plans are. I really want to get organized with it and try to have a lot more meals than we did two years ago. I will definitely keep you posted on this one!

I'm also thinking about doing something for Halloween. Has anyone ever used it to collect for charity before? I was thinking about collecting canned goods for the Good Shepherd Mission. If you have done anything similar, let me know how it went!

Earlier in the week, I spoke with my good friend Cori about getting involved in the community. Through her work, she is very much involved with child safety - battered women and children especially... Which is amazing! She told me about CASA (CLICK HERE), which is a national organization founded to help children in the foster care system. Please check out their website by clicking the above link! I would loooove to do this, however, since I am currently on the job hunt and not sure if I will be in the area for an extended time (they ask you to be able to commit to a year and half) it's not a good time for me to join CASA. If you have the time and are able, you should definitely look into it!

That's all for this week. Get out. Get involved. Help someone or something!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who needs two eyes?

As a few of you know, I've been having some vision problems with my left eye. Well, today was my second trip over to see the retina specialist in CStation. yay. Don't get me wrong, I really like him! But, driving an hour to see a doctor is rather annoying- hopefully he can fix me up soon!

For those of you who don't know, I've had a pretty significant blurry spot basically covering the entire left side of my field of vision, in my left eye. Which is all kinds of an annoying hinderance in itself, then add to it the super sensitivity to the bright, shining Texas sun and you basically have a bundle of joy. The blind/blurry spot(s) are caused by a bunch of little inflammation spots in the very back of my eyeball. These spots are putting severe pressure on my retina and therefore causing the spots in the front of my eye. So, I've been taking some super potent meds and apparently the swelling has gone down some, but it will take a lot more time for my vision to return to normal. There are obviously no guarantees that this will fix the problem or that it wont come back, but Dr. K seems pretty positive about this treatment and healing process. We shall see in another three weeks when I head back over to see him again!

I'm sure some of you have your own vision problems, I wear glasses at night for driving (or on lazy days at work!). But, this experience has been just crazy for me. I mean, not being able to basically see out of 1/3 - 1/2 of my eye?! That's just ridiculous! I've been trying to stay positive and not dwell on things like, not being able to go to the pool since the sun is too bright, or having to stop running for fear of tripping and falling (again!). I'm trying to get back to the gym Every. Day. again, but I'm having to stick to the elliptical, which makes me nauseous with the up/down movement and the blurriness. So, hopefully soon I will be able to get back on track! When the fall semester classes start at the HKC, I'm going to start doing yoga a few times a week, and I'm really looking forward to that.

My eyes are still dilated, so I better end this now before my eye and head start hurting. I hope you are all having a great start to the week!


Music Monday!

I know, I know a day late with the Music Monday post... But, it's better than nothing right? ;)

Adele - Someone Like You

Lady Gaga - The Edge of Glory

Jake Owen - Barefoot Blue Jean Night

I've been on a HUGE Christina Perri and Adele binder lately, so I'm sure there will be plenty more from them next week. If you haven't checked out their tunes, you are definitely missing out!